Snow tires without snow--bad idea? Dealing with DC weather..
In the DC area we have cold weather and we have ice, but there's very little snow. So I'm trying to figure out whether to get snow tires or something else. I know I need to do something though and I'm curious about others experiences...
I've been following all the threads on snow tires for 19s and 18s, and I recently picked up a set of 18" OEM G35 wheels for whatever tires I end up getting. In the process I've heard it mentioned that
all season tires do reasonably well in all conditions, especially cold and ice, and occasionally snow (plus I've always had all seasons on my FWD cars in the past here)
snow tires are loud and aren't the best things to have on when it's really winter weather (I'm curious if you all think this is accurate)
Unfortunately the only 18's all-season tire available (according to tirerack) is the Michelin Pilot HX MXM4, which has gotten horrible reviews...especially with hydroplaning.
I'm curious what people's experiences: when and how often do you use snow tires? How've you dealt with the conditions like those that are in the DC/MD area--cold, often icy, but rarely snowy?
we get around one month of full on snow here and i just got another car (fwd g20) for that since id have to get new wheels/tires and all the salt and shit will not be good for the paint. thats my climate though, id suggest just putting some all seasons if you dont want another ride that wont get much use.
The Dunlop M3 snow tires handle well in any weather and wear very well. I've run them through one winter, and they showed almost no wear when I remounted the summer tires after 5 months of use.
The M3's are quieter than the summer sports tires, ride very well - and I can't image why anyone would think its bad to have winter (snow) tires on your car during the winter. The don't have the dry laterial grip of a summer sports tire, but the winter grip is exceptional.
After running the M3's on my G35 during the winter, I've been thinking about replacing the A/S on my Acura and SUV with snow tires.
I ran Continental ContiExtremeContact All Season son my G35 for one year. They are also a quiet and nice riding tire (the M3 seems to ride better). I ran over 2 inches of solid ice, with a half inch of standing water on it - you couldn't walk on the surface, I was able to drive and turn easily. They also plowed though up to 8 inches of snow without trouble. The side walls aren't as stiff as the Pilots, or Geforce, and the don't come off the line like a dedicated summer tire. They also wear about like the Pilots, I went through the back tires in about 12K miles. It would be a good A/S tire for milder winters though. They are pretty inexpensive also.
Mud & Snow rating is a must. I suggest the PZERO Nero M+S for an all-season high performance tire. however, ive lived in DC with my G for over a year and got through the winter last year with my stock RE050's. it only snowed like 2 or three times and i drove in it and survived. just stay off the throttle and behave!!!! now, if u wanna get a second set of winter tires, i suggest you go with 16 or 17" wheel and not an 18 or 19. the reason is this: low profile tires use stiffer sidewalls - if you go with a higher profile tire you will have more road protection, and the tire will grip better in nasty conditions because the car will use less suspension and more sidewall-roll-under. see if you can get a set of those TE37 look alikes that came standard on the 2003 and 2004 5AT's.
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Thanks for all the insight. I don't believe there are any M&S tires at my size--at least not the Pirelli's that JLT recommended. I did see the ContiExtremeContact listed and that might be a good fit, but the Potenzas RE960AS were ranked higher--maybe not in the snow?
And from the way you make it sound, Randy, you'd rather have the M3s than all-seasons even in dry weather?
I'm leaning toward the M3s under the assumption that the car is still going to handle plenty well (just not as good as the summer tires) in dry weather...
One of these days I'll have a couple extra cars lying around for different seasons. But for now I'm going to stick with the one car I've got... I think this is actually a question worth addressing, too.
I didn't buy a G35 car to have to drive around a POS the other months of the year. I like the handling, seats, the interior, the outside, the shifter, the GPS, the sound of it, etc. I don't think I'd enjoy having a second car around if it wasn't as nice--especially while I'm still making my monthly payments on the first one.
Some day I'll have two cars, something more fun than the G35 coupe and something more practical in towing and hopefully fuel efficiency, too. But now's not that time and a G35 is all I want.
But hey, all power to those who find it a good use of time/energy/money to have two cars. And I think we should all think about that statement because whether or not one can afford a second car, it's a question of whether it's the best use of one's money. I could technically afford it but my money is much better placed elsewhere.
So this winter I'll be storing that $8-10k I'm saving off another car .
after talking to friends that have the winter tires, I purchased the Blizzaks LM-22s in 17". These are not studded but just winter performance tires that are good in snow. I know they will not perform as well on dry as my summer only tires - but hell ---- those summer tires are worthless in the winter anyway. They loose their traction once road temperatures drop below 50 degrees F.
I've also used PZERO NERO tire (M&S) on my camaro and that is a great tire for all season driving. It does good in warm / cold / wet and LIGHT Snow. Worthless in snow over 1"-2". That is one of the reasons I went with the Blizzaks.
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Thanks, cmrz, I'm leaning towards the winter performance tires myself. I'd been following your progress on snow tires and your discussion was very helpful. I'm not going to get as good a deal as you but that's the price for going with 18s. I got a set of four OEM 18s for $500 (after shipping) so when all's said and done it'll be about $1400.
I'm going to call around and see if I can find a local shop that'll match tirerack.
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